celebrateIn keeping with my happiness project, have you ever wondered why many of us scrutinize the parts of ourselves and our lives we wish to change and seemingly ignore our successes?

Think about it. We all need a little TLC and praise and there is no reason we cannot give it to ourselves. This might require taking time out for a “me day” where you do some or all of your favorite things or reward yourself with a special treat.

Research has shown that people who feel appreciated (and celebrated) are more motivated, successful and happier. Here are a few suggestions to help you celebrate you.

#1.  Practice positive thinking. This is very important to your mental, physical and emotional well-being. Some of the benefits noted by researchers include:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Improved immune system
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

#2.  Don’t rely on others to make you happy. It’s OK to feel thankful for the kind words and actions of others, but relying on them to meet your needs will never be enough and you will get hurt in the long run. Strive to be emotionally independent. Take control of your own happiness.

#3. Appreciate your blessings. Gratitude, like positive thinking, has tremendous physical, mental, and emotional benefits.

  • According to a study published in 2012 by Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups with their doctors, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.
  • Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
  • Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner, even when others behave less kind.

Related Happiness Library reading
Your Hidden Riches by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood with Sylvia Dvorak, Ph.D.
The Sweet Spot by Christine Carter, Ph.D.